It does seem in the US it’s more gendered. In the UK it is more of an abstract insult in the same way that Robert described fuck not really meaning anything specific a lot of the time. It is more often than not directed at men (whereas in the odd US usage I have seen it more at women and the examples used here when we discussed it before were directed that way).
It is the strongest swear word in the UK though and not thrown about that casually (except in Glasgow from my experience). I would think the usage probably matches the way you describe it in Australia. I’d be very aware of the company before dropping it very rarely and usually to describe Piers Morgan. It appears a lot more acceptable than in the US but you wouldn’t use it outside that kind of pub scenario.
(Rock and roll bands that like to cultivate an anti-establishment image including boasting about drug use are probably not typical.)